Every day individuals are exposed to commercials, billboards, andmany other different forms of advertisements. We have become a society thatbuys things that we don’t need, and most of them become a pile of clutter.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American householdspends $1,800 every year solely on clothes.1This statistic shows how Americans try to make their lives fulfilling thoughabject consumerism. The new American dream is built on this materialism; themore possessions you have equates to the higher your social status is insociety. We have become a society that is chasing a lifestyle of luxury andconsumption, and yet are never satisfied; and, this lack of satisfactionderives from people defining their worth and happiness based on their materialproperties instead of their inherent worth as a human being.We try to use material possessions to make our lives full bybuying the latest phones, computer, or clothes.
People use these materialpossessions to show their socio-economic status and how they are better thanothers. Competition, jealousy, and grief arise from putting too much value onmaterial possessions. Some of us have even become in debt trying to portray anillusion that we are richer than others. Dichotomies of class have affected themore impoverished communities in trying to achieve the American dream, which ismerely an illusion. It has come to the point where their possessions start toown them because of the accumulation of debt that so often accompanies theAmerican lifestyle of consumerism. Similar to how Ray explained that once onevalues material possessions, they then attach labels to it to make itsignificant, and if those possessions were to vanish, one would be indespair.
When people are more mindful, they would recognize how’emptiness’ is an antidote to materialistic desires. For instance, people willhave less and less control over you if you do not concede to the labels theyseek to place on you.1CONSUMER EXPENDITURES 2016,”U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 29, 2017, accessed December 9, 2017,https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.nr0.htm.